Fox News still faces $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit from Smartmatic – The Washington Post

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Fox News’s legal troubles related to the 2020 presidential election are far from over, despite its massive settlement with Dominion Voting Systems announced Tuesday afternoon.
The media company also faces a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed by another voting technology company, Smartmatic, that alleges Fox broadcast lies that “decimated” its business.
In a nearly 300-page complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court in February 2021, Smartmatic alleges that Fox News knowingly made “over 100 false statements and implications” about the company, amplifying false information from former president Donald Trump and his allies that Smartmatic played a role in his election loss. In February, a New York appeals court ruled that the case be allowed to proceed.
After Fox News’s $787.5 million settlement with Dominion was announced Tuesday, Smartmatic attorney J. Erik Connolly released a statement.
“Dominion’s litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox’s disinformation campaign. Smartmatic will expose the rest,” Connolly said. “Smartmatic remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy.”
In response, a Fox spokeswoman issued a statement Wednesday defending the network.
“We will be ready to defend this case surrounding extremely newsworthy events when it goes to trial, likely in 2025,” the statement said. “As a report prepared by our financial expert shows, Smartmatic’s damages claims are implausible, disconnected from reality, and on its face intended to chill First Amendment freedoms.”
In addition to Fox News, the complaint named Fox’s on-air hosts Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, as well as former Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell. A judge last year ruled the case could go forward but dropped Powell from the lawsuit because she is a Texas resident and the New York court doesn’t have jurisdiction over her.
“Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell needed a platform to use to spread their story,” the lawsuit stated. “They found a willing partner in Fox News.”
The Smartmatic case has lagged behind Dominion’s lawsuit and is still at the discovery stage, with a long way to go before a potential trial.
After Smartmatic demanded a retraction from Fox in December 2020, the network aired a short segment on several shows aimed at clearing up misinformation about the voting technology company. The company moved ahead with its lawsuit soon afterward. It cited dozens of examples of statements that it called false, including one in which Giuliani claimed Smartmatic was founded by Venezuelans close to the late polarizing leader Hugo Chávez “to fix elections.”
As Dominion did in its lawsuit, Smartmatic alleged Fox aired its broadcasts as it worried about losing a chunk of its audience to more conservative networks Newsmax and One America News.
In November 2021, Smartmatic also sued Newsmax and the parent company of One America News, alleging that the outlets similarly defamed Smartmatic by suggesting it helped rig the election against Trump.
Smartmatic’s lawsuit against Newsmax is being handled by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis, who oversaw Dominion’s lawsuit against Fox.
Jeremy Barr contributed to this report.
Fox News agreed to settle a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for $780 million, canceling a highly-anticipated trial just hours after jury selection was completed. Here are four takeaways from the settlement.
Dominion’s lawsuit: The voting technology company filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, alleging that the networks’ guests and hosts defamed the company by connecting it to a fictitious plot to steal the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump. Here’s what to know about the lawsuit.
What Fox News’s major players said in private: Internal emails and text messages released as part of the lawsuit reveal that many program hosts and company executives disbelieved the claims of election fraud that their network was airing. But some at Fox were concerned that Trump-supporting viewers would move to other channels if Fox journalists contradicted the false claims. Here’s a look at what Tucker Carlson said about Trump in private texts vs. what he told his viewers.


About the author

Pooja Sachdeva

Pooja Sachdeva

Pooja is a healthcare professional with a Master's in Public Health. She focuses on the impact of technology on healthcare, from telemedicine to wearable devices. Pooja is also a fitness enthusiast and loves to explore new health tech gadgets.